There will be many tales at this weekend’s New Jersey Marathon of people running for others, or running for a higher cause. But Swedish freelance writer Anders Forselius will be not just running for someone – he will literally be carrying someone else with him on the Jersey Shore course.
That someone is Alex Blackburn, a 12-year-old California boy who died 10 years ago of a virus, and “The Biking Viking” has been carrying the boy’s ashes with him since he met Alex’s mom while staying at a youth hostel in Santa Cruz, Calif., a few years ago. Forselius, who is in the midst of a global journey to run and bike 15,000 miles (he completed the Boston Marathon last week) and raise money for cancer research, is honoring Alex’s dying wish by scattering some of the boys ashes in all corners of the globe.
“It was an amazing story his mom told,” Forselius relayed earlier this week while staying with friends in Morris County. “Here was this boy who loved life, went through a heart transplant and made everyone around him better, and he was taken by a virus after all that, at age 12. His mom worked in a youth hostel I was staying in while running in California and she told me his last wish was to be taken to ‘see’ the corners of the world, so that’s what I am trying to do, bring Alex and his amazing story with me everywhere I go.”